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Article
Publication date: 14 May 2021

Ahmad Ghaith, Huimin Ma and Ashraf W. Labib

High-reliability performance and high-hazard are intertwined in High-Reliability Organizations (HROs) operations; these organizations are highly safe, highly hazardous and…

Abstract

Purpose

High-reliability performance and high-hazard are intertwined in High-Reliability Organizations (HROs) operations; these organizations are highly safe, highly hazardous and highly significant for the modern society, not only for the valuable resources they have, but also the indispensable services they provide. This research intend to understand how HROs could produce high quality performance despite their challenging and demanding contexts. The research followed an emic approach to develop an organizational framework that reflects the contribution of the seeming traits of the organizations to the operations safety based on the workers point of views about the safety of workstations.

Design/methodology/approach

This research adopted mixed methods of in-depth interviews and literature review to identify the structural characteristics of high-reliability organizations (HROs) embedded in the organizations studies and developed a theoretical based structural framework for HROs. Furthermore, a systemic literature review was adopted to find the evidence from the organizations literature for the identified characteristics from the interviews from the first stage. The setting for this study is six Chinese power stations, four stations in Hubei province central China and two stations in the southern China Guangdong province.

Findings

The organizational framework is a key determinant to achieve high-reliability performance; however, solely it cannot explain how HROs manage the risks of hazard events and operate safely in high-hazard environments. High-reliability performance is attributed to the interaction between two sets of determinants of safety and hazard. The findings of this research indicate that HROs systems would be described as reliable or hazardous depending on the tightly coupled setting, complexity, bureaucracy involvement and dynamicity within the systems from one hand, and safety orientation, failure intolerance, systemwide processing, the institutional setting and the employment of redundant systems on other hand.

Originality/value

The authors developed an organizational framework of organizing the safety work in HROs. The applied method of interviewing and literature review was not adopted in any other researches.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 39 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 August 2018

Peter F. Martelli, Peter E. Rivard and Karlene H. Roberts

Given the pace of industry change and the rapid diffusion of high reliability organization (HRO) approaches, lags and divergences have arisen between research and practice…

Abstract

Purpose

Given the pace of industry change and the rapid diffusion of high reliability organization (HRO) approaches, lags and divergences have arisen between research and practice in healthcare. The purpose of this paper is to explore several of these theory-practice gaps and propose implications for research and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Classic and cutting-edge HRO literature is applied to analyze two industry trends: delivery system integration, and the confluence of patient-as-consumer and patient-centered care.

Findings

Highly reliable integrated delivery systems will likely function very differently from classic HRO organizations. Both practitioners and researchers should address conditions such as how a system is bounded, how reliable the system should be and how interdependencies are handled. Additionally, systems should evaluate the added uncertainty and variability introduced by enhanced agency on the part of patients/families in decision making and in processes of care.

Research limitations/implications

Dramatic changes in the sociotechnical environment are influencing the coupling and interactivity of system elements in healthcare. Researchers must address the maintenance of reliability across organizations and the migration of decision-making power toward patients and families.

Practical implications

As healthcare systems integrate, managers attempting to apply HRO principles must recognize how these systems present new and different reliability-related challenges and opportunities.

Originality/value

This paper provides a starting point for the advancement of research and practice in high-reliability healthcare by providing an in-depth exploration of the implications of two major industry trends.

Details

Journal of Health Organization and Management, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 November 2021

Maryam Memar Zadeh and Nicole Haggerty

Long-term care (LTC) organizations have struggled to protect their vulnerable clients from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although various suggestions on containing…

Abstract

Purpose

Long-term care (LTC) organizations have struggled to protect their vulnerable clients from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although various suggestions on containing outbreaks in LTC facilities have gained prominence, ensuring the safety of residents is not just a crisis issue. In that context, the authors must reasses the traditional management practices that were not sufficient for handling unexpected and demanding conditions. The purpose of this paper is to suggest rethinking the underlying attributes of LTC organizations and drawing insight from the parallels they have to high-reliability organizations (HROs).

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyzed qualitative data collected from a Canadian LTC facility to shed light on the current state of reliability practices and culture of the LTC industry and to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the traditional management approaches.

Findings

To help the LTC industry develop the necessary crisis management capacity to tackle unexpected future challenges, there is an urgent need for adopting a more systemic top-down approach that cultivates mindfulness, learning and resilience.

Originality/value

This study contributes by applying the HRO theoretical lens in the LTC context. The study provides the LTC leaders with insights into creating a unified effort at the industry level to give rise to a high-reliability-oriented industry.

Details

Leadership in Health Services, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1879

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 6 December 2022

Esmee Peters, Louise Knight, Kees Boersma and Niels Uenk

Both high reliability theory (HRT) and “new school” supply chain resilience (SCR) promote a multi-layered, adaptable, transformational, and holistic perspective on…

Abstract

Purpose

Both high reliability theory (HRT) and “new school” supply chain resilience (SCR) promote a multi-layered, adaptable, transformational, and holistic perspective on organizing and managing. The authors explore whether, and if so how, HRT offer fresh perspectives on the SCR challenges experienced during COVID-19 and on organizing for future resilience.

Design/methodology/approach

Addressing SCR at the interorganizational network level, and blending theory synthesis and case study research, the authors assess if and how HRN constructs and practices can guide analysis of SCR in dynamic, complex networks, and help shape development pathways towards organizing for resilience. Findings draw on thick description and iterative coding of data (58 interviews and 200+ documents) on the buyer network responsible for managing the supply of critical medical products in the Netherlands.

Findings

HRT highlights the interconnectedness of challenges encountered during COVID-19 and helps design future resilience through three lessons. Organizing for SCR requires (1) both anticipation and containment strategies, (2) stable working relationships characterized by trust, and (3) a clear basis of command underpinned by experience-based legitimacy.

Originality/value

Distinctive from SCR, which views crises as “black swans”, HRT organizes around everyday consideration of the risk of failure. Taking a buyer network perspective, the authors move beyond the buyer-supplier network focus in SCR. The authors contend that emphasis on measures such as supplier base management, stockpiling, and domestic production are essential but not sufficient. Rather, HRT implies that deep structural and social ties within the buyer network should also be emphasized.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Evan H. Offstein, Raymond Kniphuisen, D. Robin Bichy and J. Stephen Childers Jr

Recent lapses in the management of high hazard organizations, such as the Fukushima event or the Deepwater Horizon blast, add considerable urgency to better understand the…

Abstract

Purpose

Recent lapses in the management of high hazard organizations, such as the Fukushima event or the Deepwater Horizon blast, add considerable urgency to better understand the complicated and complex phenomena of leading and managing high reliability organizations (HRO). The purpose of this paper is to offer both theoretical and practical insight to further strengthen reliability in high hazard organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Phenomenological study based on over three years of research and thousands of hours of study in HROs conducted through a scholar-practitioner partnership.

Findings

The findings indicate that the identification and the management of competing tensions arising from misalignment within and between public policy, organizational strategy, communication, decision-making, organizational learning, and leadership is the critical factor in explaining improved reliability and safety of HROs.

Research limitations/implications

Stops short of full-blown grounded theory. Steps were made to ensure validity; however, generalizability may be limited due to sample.

Practical implications

Provides insight into reliably operating organizations that are crucial to society where errors would cause significant damage or loss.

Originality/value

Extends high reliability research by investigating more fully the competing tensions present in these complex, societally crucial organizations.

Details

American Journal of Business, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1935-5181

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Andrew Waguih Ishak and Elizabeth Ann Williams

Organizations of all types desire to be imbued with resilience, or the ability to withstand and bounce back from difficult events (Richardson, 2002; Walsh 2003). But…

1845

Abstract

Purpose

Organizations of all types desire to be imbued with resilience, or the ability to withstand and bounce back from difficult events (Richardson, 2002; Walsh 2003). But resilience does not play the same role in every organization. Previous research (Weick and Sutcliffe, 2011) has argued that organizations can be more or less resilient. For high reliability organizations (HROs) such as fire crews and emergency medical units, resilience is a defining feature. Due to the life-or-death nature of their work, the ability to be successful in the face of difficult events is imperative to the process of HROs. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a theory piece.

Findings

The authors put forth a dual-spectrum model that introduces adaptive and anchored approaches to organizational resilience.

Research limitations/implications

There are organizations for which resilience is only enacted when the organization must overcome difficult events. And at the other end are organizations that may not enact resilience in difficult times, and therefore fail or deteriorate. But while it has been shown that organizations can be more or less resilient, there has been little attention paid to how organizations may have differing types of resilience.

Originality/value

In this piece, the authors theorize that resilience may differ in type between organizations. Drawing on theoretical approaches to resilience from communication (Buzzanell, 2010), organizational behavior (Weick and Sutcliffe, 2011), and motivational psychology (Dweck, 2016), the authors introduce a model that views resilience as a dynamic construct in organizations. The authors argue that an organization’s resilience-centered actions affect – and are determined by – its approach to Buzzanell’s (2010) five communicative processes of resilience. The authors offer testable propositions, as well as theoretical and practical implications from this model, not only for HROs, but for all organizations.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 4 October 2012

Marc A. Flitter, Kelly Rouse Riesenmy and Daved van Stralen

Purpose – To offer a theoretical explanation for observed physician resistance and rejection of high reliability patient safety initiatives.Design/methodology/approach – A…

Abstract

Purpose – To offer a theoretical explanation for observed physician resistance and rejection of high reliability patient safety initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach – A grounded theoretical qualitative approach, utilizing the organizational theory of sensemaking, provided the foundation for inductive and deductive reasoning employed to analyze medical staff rejection of two successfully performing high reliability programs at separate hospitals.

Findings – Physician behaviors resistant to patient-centric high reliability processes were traced to provider-centric physician sensemaking.

Research limitations/implications – Research, conducted with the advantage that prospective studies have over the limitations of this retrospective investigation, is needed to evaluate the potential for overcoming physician resistance to innovation implementation, employing strategies based upon these findings and sensemaking theory in general.

Practical implications – If hospitals are to emulate high reliability industries that do successfully manage environments of extreme hazard, physicians must be fully integrated into the complex teams required to accomplish this goal.

Social implications – Reforming health care, through high reliability organizing, with its attendant continuous focus on patient-centric processes, offers a distinct alternative to efforts directed primarily at reforming health care insurance. It is by changing how health care is provided that true cost efficiencies can be achieved. Technology and the insights of organizational science present the opportunity of replacing the current emphasis on privileged information with collective tools capable of providing quality and safety in health care.

Originality/value – The fictions that have sustained a provider-centric health care system have been challenged. The benefits of patient-centric care should be obtainable.

Details

Annual Review of Health Care Management: Strategy and Policy Perspectives on Reforming Health Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-191-5

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 October 2012

Daniele Binci, Corrado Cerruti and Stefano Antonio Donnarumma

The purpose of this article is to analyse the role of resistance at team level in a change project focused on the maintenance activities of a high reliability organisation

1741

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to analyse the role of resistance at team level in a change project focused on the maintenance activities of a high reliability organisation (HRO) that operates in the electricity distribution field.

Design/methodology/approach

A grounded theory is built, analysing a large dataset of material (project reports, processes descriptions, internal memos and presentations), direct observation and semi‐structured interviews.

Findings

The paper documents a model where resistance has evolved over time. Differentiated responses to change of employees during the project and also different forms of resistance are observed. The outcome of the analysis shows the positive role of mindful inertia in the change project.

Research limitations/implications

Outcomes are, by the nature of the research, deeply rooted in the context and the study is focused on a specific service of an organisation that is high reliability‐oriented. Future studies should look at whether these insights are also relevant for other organisations.

Practical implications

Mindful inertia can prove useful in achieving better performances in implementing change.

Originality/value

With respect to the existing literature, the paper shows that in HROs acceptance of change and mindful resistance to that change interacts to improve the outcome process. Resistance, under certain conditions, can provide the very insights needed to implement change.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 25 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 November 2020

Pedro Senna, Augusto Reis, Igor Leão Santos, Ana Claudia Dias and Ormeu Coelho

This paper aims to present a systematic literature review (SLR) to investigate how supply chain risk management (SCRM) is applied to the healthcare supply chains and which…

1775

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a systematic literature review (SLR) to investigate how supply chain risk management (SCRM) is applied to the healthcare supply chains and which improvement opportunities are being missed in this segment.

Design/methodology/approach

This SLR used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) method to answer three research questions: (1) Which are the main gaps concerning healthcare supply chain risk management (HCSCRM)? (2) What is the definition of HCSCRM? and (3) What are the risk management techniques and approaches used in healthcare supply chains?

Findings

The authors present a complete summary of the HCSCRM body of research, investigating research strings like clinical engineering and high reliability organizations (HROs) and its relations with HCSCRM; (1) This research revealed the five pillars of HCSCRM; (2) The authors proposed a formal definition for HCSCRM considering all the literature blocks explored and (3) The authors generated a list of risks present in healthcare supply chains resulting from extensive article research.

Research limitations/implications

The authors only reviewed international journal articles (published in the English language), excluding conference papers, dissertations and theses, textbooks, book chapters, unpublished articles and notes. In addition, the study did not thoroughly investigate specific countries' particularities concerning how the healthcare providers are organized.

Originality/value

The contribution of this article is threefold: (1) To the best of authors knowledge, there is no other SLR about HCSCRM published in the scientific literature by the time of realization of authors’ work, suggesting that is the first effort to fulfill this research gap; (2) Following the previous contribution, in this work the authors propose a first formal definition for HCSCRM and (3) The authors analyzed concepts such as clinical engineering and HROs to establish the building blocks of HCSCRM.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 6 July 2011

Sujin K. Horwitz, Irwin B. Horwitz and Neal R. Barshes

Previous research has demonstrated that communication failure and interpersonal conflicts are significant impediments among health care teams to assess complex information…

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated that communication failure and interpersonal conflicts are significant impediments among health care teams to assess complex information and engage in the meaningful collaboration necessary for optimizing patient care. Despite the prolific research on the role of effective teamwork in accomplishing complex tasks, such findings have been traditionally applied to business organizations and not medical contexts. This chapter, therefore, reviews and applies four theories from the fields of organizational behavior (OB) and organization development (OD) as potential means for improving team interaction in health care contexts. This study is unique in its approach as it addresses the long-standing problems that exist in team communication and cooperation in health care teams by applying well-established theories from the organizational literature. The utilization and application of the theoretical constructs discussed in this work offer valuable means by which the efficacy of team work can be greatly improved in health care organizations.

Details

Organization Development in Healthcare: Conversations on Research and Strategies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-709-4

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 3000